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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 15, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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>> pelley: scenes from a nightmare. flash flooring claims more lives as wildfires destroy hundred of homes. also tonight, on the eve of the republican debate, the surgeon is surging. a college freshman dies after fraternity hazing. now 37 students face charges, some including murder. and the battle of britain. >> never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. >> pelley: including a few americans. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: hell and high water have come to the american west, wiping away lives and property in a flash.
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we have just learned that 12 people have been killed in the flood, most of them children. one person is still missing. elsewhere, hundreds of homes have been incinerated by wildfires. we'll begin with the fatal flood along the arizona-utah border. ben tracy is there. >> there goes the van! oh, my goodness. >> reporter: in less than half an hour, streets in this small town turned into a raging river. >> they're getting everybody out. >> reporter: witnesses captured this dramatic rescue as several women and children were in danger of being swept away were pulled from their stalled vehicle. >> reporter: officials say two vehicles were washed off a road into a channel by a wall of water. >> i've never seen anything like this. >> reporter: hildale mayor philip barlow: >> it actually came around
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behind the vehicles and engulfed the vehicles and washed them down into the creek bed. >> my whole front yard is gone. >> reporter: people in these towns of nearly 3,000 people say they've seen flooding before but nothing ever like this. the town of hildale is home to members of the polygamist sect once controlled by warren jeffs, who was sentenced to life in prison for child sexual assault. >> we're just greatly humbled by this, but we realize, you know, this is an act of god. >> reporter: to give you a sense of just how powerful these floodwaters were, that crumpled white metal is all that's left of one of these cars that was southwest away. and nearby this afternoon in zion national park we learned two hikers were found dead believed to be killed by the floodwaters and five others are still missing. >> pelley: ben tracy reporting for us tonight. ben, thank you. record rainfall also caused flooding in los angeles. a number of people and a dog took refuge in trees after the
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los angeles river went on a tear. emergency crews came to their rescue. 31 wildfires are burning in six western states. two of the biggest have destroyed well over 700 homes and burned nearly 140,000 acres in northern california. we have reports tonight from david begnaud and danielle nottingham. >> reporter: scott, the situation here is still very critical. the fire is burning in several different areas surrounding this small town, and there's fear that the 9,000 homes that are still standing could wind up luke this. nick bracisco and his son are using shovels to beat back flames threatening their home. the massive valley fire is still raging in the wilderness nearby. >> how you guys doing up there? >> we want to protect it. it's no good just sitting there watching and doing nothing so you gotta get out there and do
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something. >> reporter: neighbor chad martin's home is also in jeopardy. where's the fire? >> well, the fire is that ridgeline over here to the east. >> reporter: martin evacuated his family and came back to save what he could. >> i got one sprinkler on the roof and i got hoses all the way around the house. and we'll see what happens. >> reporter: just down the hill, miles of ash and rubble, and the homes still standing are without power. utility crews have no idea when the power will be back. >> you can see there is nothing left. >> reporter: schools are closed indefinitely. superintendent catherine stone frantically tried to reach her staff as the fire raced through town. >> you see this wall of fire and then it goes whoosh, and shooive, would start up right over there. and it just kept happening over and over again. >> reporter: three dozen teachers and hundreds of students lost everything. >> heartbreakingly, this week was homecoming week, and we were supposed to have our homecoming game this fridays. homecoming is the biggest event in this area. >> reporter: stone says she doesn't know how the community
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will rebuild, but she's confident it will. middletown, california. >> reporter: i'm david begnaud in kelseyville, california. at 10 a.m. this morning, people started lining up around this track at the local high school football stadium. >> we might be able to get you up there. >> oh, please. >> reporter: everyone vying for a police escort in the burned out areas. carolyn compton waited for more than an hour. you have no clue if your house is still standing. >> no, sir. >> reporter: compton lives on cobb mountain, which was one of the first areas engulfed by the valley fire which started last saturday. >> oh! how devastating, emory. >> betty curtice and her husband of 37-year-old, emory, saw their retirement home for the first time in ashes. >> i'm too nervous to even take a picture. >> reporter: the only thing left standing is the chimney, and today they searched desperately for their cat named toes. >> toes, toes.
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here, kitty, kitty! >> reporter: on saturday, they had 10 minutes to get out, today 15 minutes to survey the damage. >> it's just devastating. >> reporter: more than 800 people remain sheltered at the napa county faire dprowndz. >> i'm just missing my animals the most. i'm sorry. >> reporter: the only death confirmed after these fast-moving fires was retired teacher barbara mcwilliams. she was 72 and suffering from multiple sclerosis. jennifer hitson was her caregive. >> she didn't understand the magnitude of it. i knew she was going to be stuck, and i knew that she would have no way of getting out. >> reporter: nearly 20,000 people have been evacuated because of the valley fire. scott, some 105 square miles has been scorched. that is bigger than the size of california's capital sacramento. >> pelley: david begnaud and danielle nottingham on the fires for us tonight. thank you. a terrible accident involving a
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school bus has killed two teenagers. omar villafranca is in houston. >> reporter: it happened during the morning rush hour other on one of texas' busiest highways, look 610. the houston school bus with fewer students and a driver on board careened off an overpass at 7:00 this morning and crashed down 20 feet below. anthony martin saw the accident. >> it hit nose-down pretty much and i knew the driver automatically was going to be either hurt or killed. for the way it hit the concrete. >> reporter: witnesses say the bus rolled over several times. two high school students, 14 and 17-year-old girls, were killed. two other students and the driver are in the the hospital with serious injuries. the bus was heading east on the highway when another car going the same direction jerked to the right to avoid a car drifting in the driver's lane, and struck the front left side of the bus. school officials say the bus driver hit the guardrail and toppled head-first on to the street below.
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nathan graf is in charge of transportation at the school district. does the bus have any safety devices on it like a roll bar or anything? the way that the bus is built, it actually has a crush-proof ceiling with thick padding, and that typically offers protection in accidents. >> reporter: the bus did have seat belts but students aren't required to wear them. scott, late this afternoon, we learned that the driver of the car who hit the bus is is also a houston teacher. >> pelley: omar villafranca, thanks. on the eve of the second republican presidential debate, our new cbs news/"new york times" poll out this evening shows that donald trump is still the front-runner. he's up three point since august, but have a look at this. neurosurgeon ben carson is close behind with a 17-point surge that his campaign attributes to "the power of nice," which is a nice opportunity to talk to
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nancy cordes. nancy, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to know if carson is up somebody has to be down. >> reporter: to people, actually, scott, former florida governor jeb bush who dropped from 13% last month to just six tonight, and wisconsin governor scott walker who plunged from 10% to just two. g.o.p. voters typically favor governors, but all of them are struggling in this new poll. >> i'm surging with women. you can believe it? >> reporter: trump will be the first to tell you he's a great leader, and our poll finds g.o.p. voters agree with him. 81% say he has strong leadership qualities compared to 64% for carson and 58% for bush. >> nobody's going to be able to do the job that i'm going to do. nobody. >> reporter: trump supporters are also most likely to say their minds are made up. nearly 15,000 of them packed a dallas arena last night. trump trails carson, a neurosurgeon, among one group,
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college graduates, by eight poins. but here's why both men are surging. 48% of g.o.p. voters say they prefer a candidate from the private sector. only 9% want someone steeped in politics. and so ohio governor john kasich stands at 3% in our poll. new jersey governor chris christie has dropped to 1%. in our new national poll of democrats, hillary clinton is at 47%, vermont senator bernie sanders is at 27%, and vice president joe biden, who has not declared gets 15%. clinton was leading by 41 point in august but that's been cut in half to 20 points and a majority of democratic voters, scott, 57%, say they would like to see biden jump in. >> pelley: but what does the poll have to say, nancy, about clinton's e-mail controversies. >> reporter: it shows, scott, that democrats are concerned that it could hurt her in a general election, and here's why. only 32% of the electorate now sees clinton as honest and
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trustworthy. that's town downfrom 40% just last month. although it is worth pointing out that the republican front-runner doesn't do much better here. only 35% see trump as honest and trustworthy. >> pelley: nancy cordes with our new poll tonight. today, the nations of europe could not agree on a solution to the migrant crisis. thousands have desperate to leave the middle east, and again today, a refugee boat sank, drowning 22, four of them children. holly williams caught up with families fleeing war in search of mercy. >> reporter: they set out out early in the morning, hundreds of syrians marching towards turk's border with greece. >> please, where is your humanity? >> louay fled damascus last year for the safety of turkey but told us he can't earn enough money here to survive. >> everyone of us is going to try and try and try to go to get the life we deserve.
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i'm a human! >> reporter: nearly everyone we spoke to said they wanted to reach germany where they've heard that syrian refugees are welcome. but they don't want to risk their lives crossing to europe on a flimsy raft. the image of three-year-old aylan kurdi, who drowned when his boat capsized, has woken up europe to the refugee crisis. but also frightened many other syrians planning the same dangerous journey. just 15 miles from the border, another group of refugees was surrounded by turkish police who would let them go no further. as hundreds more arrived, the police blocked the highway. but fatima ahmet lasin, who fled syria last month with her four children, told us desperation has made them determined. how long are you willing to wait
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here? "as long as it takes," she told us. "until they let us cross the border." we've been told that there are more syrians trying to make their way to this area tonight. scott, this is not just an attempt to cross the border into greece but a protest against europe's reluctance to accept syrian refugees. >> pelley: holly williams with the refugees in turkey tonight. holly, thank you. also today, hungary continued its crackdown on migrants with tough new immigration laws, and that left hundreds stranded at the border with serbia where we find charlie d'agata. >> reporter: hundreds converged at the hungarian border climbing on the barricades demanding to be let in. when they had found their main route along the railway line blocked, they searched for any opening they could find. hungarian police seem to have been taken by surprise at what happened.
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we watch as hundreds of migrants poured in from the fields. they raced to shut these metal barriers, sealing the border between serbia and hungary. we were pushed back, and now it's a standoff. police arrested hundreds of migrants under new laws that made the crossing illegal. on the other side of the border in serbia, we found a makeshift refugee camp just off the highway. more migrants were arriving by the hour, even though they already knew hungary had sealed its borders. atif from syria told us there was no way anybody could turn back now. >> we have been here, i would wait. this only chance for us. >> reporter: the backlog and anger continue to grow against a country the midprants only want to travel through as a matter of fact they can. charlie d'agata, cbs news, serbia. >> pelley: dozens of college students could be charged in a
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>> pelley: a grand jury is recommending murder charges against five students and lesser charges against 32 others after a hazing that left a fellow student from new york's baruch college beaten to death. anna werner is on the campus. >> reporter: police say 19-year-old baruch college freshman michael deng died after a brutal hazing ritual at this rented home in the poconos in december of 2013. they say deng and other pledges to the pi delta psi fraternity were engaged in a ritual called the glass ceiling, where they were taken outside, blindfolded, strapped into 30-pound backpacks, then made to run a gauntlet while frat members hit or tackled them.
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grand jury documents show some of those there that night told police deng got hit extremely hard, harder than any other pledges, then complained his head hurt after he was knocked down. police say deng was brought inside and left lying unconscious for some 25 minutes while frat members googled his symptoms. one told investigators that an ambulance was not called because someone looked it up and the bill/cost was too high. by the time deng was brought to the hospital he was unresponsive. he died the next day. monroe county assistant district attorney michael rakaczewski: >> they lied to the police. they tried to hide evidence, and a lot of that was based on trying to cover up and hide the fra terpt's involvement in this case. >> reporter: attorneys for two of the men set to be charged with third-degree murder told us their clients are blameless. scott, one told me no question it's a terrible tragedy, but not all tragedies are crimes. >> pelley: anna werner
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>> this is trafalgar square. the noise you hear at the moment is the sound of the air raid siren. >> pelley: edward r. murrow reporting on the battle of britain. 75 years later, mark phillips reports on the role a group of americans played in britain's finest hour. >> reporter: they've become legends, the few, as churchill called them, to whom so many owed so much. and among the barely 3,000 airmen hoconfronted the nazi luftwaffe as it tried to soften britain up for a planned invasion were a small, little-nope, and actually illegal contingent of americans. and in the anniversary fly-pass, the largest gathering of world war ii aircraft since the war was this spitfire, now owned by
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the historic flight charity in seattle, and flown to honor the americans by john sessions. >> it was felony in the united states under the neutrality act to fight for the british at that point in time. so most of the -- >> reporter: because the u.s. was officially neutral. somewhere between nine and 11 americans joined the battle. nobody's sure because some hid their identities pretending to be canadians. >> some of them were only identified decades later through entries in squadron books with nicknames like "tex." you know. >> reporter: tex from canada. >> they were officially canadians. >> reporter: billy fiske, though, was american through and through, a well-known olympic gold medalist who joined a high-profile squadron, he died during the battle, perhaps the first american casualty of the war, and is buried in an english church yard. he and the the other american
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fliers were drawn by a desire to fight the nazis and to fly these planes. the spitfire is amongst the most revered war machines ever built, and to fly, even as a passenger in one these days, is to understand why. it's still both a weapon and a beautiful thing. >> reporter: churchill sent a wreath to billy fiske's unifoouneral hoping his death would stir american passions. fiske and the others who were among the first to fight are now among the few and the honored. mark phillips, cbs news, goodwood, england. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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right now at 7:00 senior citizens sent from their homes as fire breaks out at a maryland apartment building. >> plus maryland is going to the gators, how animal control is finding more and more of the intimidating reptiles swimming in area waterways. >> and foot loose in the front room as a virginia man pays thousands for kenny loggins to rock out in his living room. >> good evening. thanks for joining us. i'm jan jeffcoat. >> and i'm lesli foster. we start with some pretty serious breaking news, jesse matthew has been indicted in the murder of morgan harrington. matthew is the man charged in the murder of uva student hannah graham. harrington, a virginia tech student, disappeared following a concert in charlottesville. tomorrow matthew

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